Gospel Reflection - Sunday 4th October 2020

This month is the month of the Rosary. St Padre Pio was the one who called the Rosary ‘The Weapon.’St Padre Pio was an Italian priest who died in 1968. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina succeeded in reciting the Rosary almost continually. He was asked why he prayed the Rosary so many times to which he replied, Our Lady has never refused me anything.”After the apparitions St Bernadette’s sister Antoinette would say, “Bernadette did nothing but pray and did not know what else to do than to finger the beads of her Rosary…”St Bernadette found it difficult to be without Our Mother. When Our Lady appeared at Lourdes and Fatima, she asked for the Rosary to be prayed every day, this is Our Mother speaking to us.

The Popes since 1402 have written 504 Encyclicals just on the Rosary. Pope Benedict XV and St John XXIII prayed 15 decades a day. St John Paul the Great wrote an Encyclical on the Rosary where he said: “The Rosary is my favourite prayer.”This Pope would personally give out Rosaries to people when visiting him. He also added another 5 decades of the Rosary, the “Mysteries of Light” or “Luminous Mysteries.”It is said he prayed several rosaries a day. The Rosary is not a prayer to Mary but to Jesus. We don’t pray to Mary, instead, Mary prays with us to Jesus. When we pray the Rosary, Our Lady prays with us. Whatever intentions we are praying for, Our Lady, therefore, is also praying for those intentions. We know that Our Lord will never refuse His Mother’s prayers. For this reason, the Rosary is such a powerful prayer. Because the Rosary is so powerful it has traditionally been the most popular prayer of the family.

I personally recommend the Rosary as a prayer to be prayed as a family above other prayers simply because it is so powerful. Our Lord will not refuse His Mother anything. Remember the words of Fr Patrick Payton.“The family the prays together, stays together.”Jesus said, “when you pray do not babble as the pagans do.” Some argue against the Rosary because it is repetitious, and therefore they say it is “babble.”If the Rosary comes from our heart, Jesus never tires of hearing us. It is like saying to Jesus ‘I love You’ over and over, and Jesus never tires of hearing that. For me personally, the Rosary is part and parcel, indispensable to my life. I don’t know where I would be today without the Rosary. I try to pray continually and the prayer I usually try to pray is the Rosary. I don’t have to think about what prayer to pray. I just pray the Rosary. I begin with an Our Father and the 10 Hail Mary’s. I do this even though I know I might only get through half an Our Father – before I will get distracted again.

A story on the Rosary: A Buddhist lady: ‘Nung,’ Vietnamese. She sometimes comes to Mass here. After the communist takeover in Vietnam she once visited a Catholic Vietnamese family at dinner time. After dinner they prayed the Rosary. She would join the family at that time often, just to experience the grace or the peace. The family took her to Mass – in hiding. From the Mass she came to finally believe in the Real Presence and became a Catholic. Today, The Mass – receiving Holy Communion is the greatest joy of her life. In the early 60’s when life became difficult under Communist rule, she and her sister tried to flee the country. Both were captured and jailed. She taught the prisoners the Rosary – which most prayed several times a day. She said she had a locution or message from Our lady to tell her and her sister to escape. She heard the words: “I will protect you.”When she told her sister, her sister thought she was crazy but that day they both walked towards the gate – normally people are shot when seen near the gate – but they both prayed the Rosary as they approached the gate. The guards only opened the gates and watched them escape. They found a boat to Perth, Australia. Each day on the boat all prayed the Rosary continually – all different religions. At sea they were surrounded by pirate boats. Nung led the Rosary. The pirate boats were so close that Nung and her companions could clearly see the guns pointed at them but for some unknown reason the pirate boats took off.

The Rosary is powerful. Pray it always. At times praying the Rosary, a peace and inner strength/joy occurs sometimes. I remember praying the Rosary in a home – the children, two boys aged between 8 and 10 had never prayed a full rosary before. When we prayed the Rosary, Grace was clearly present. The children asked their parents if they could pray the Rosary every evening. Make Our Mother our constant companion and like St Bernadette and others, pray the Rosary continually.

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